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Slate: "Gore Vidal Was a Great Character--But Don't Forget His Novels"

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If a man's legacy were to be gauged by the immediate response to his death, then Gore Vidal's is very much in danger of being reduced to a succession of pithy and caustic sentences that will however rattle round the internet, and cheapened by the descent into hysteria that warped his political views in his final years. As quotable as he was--for good and for ill--it's worth remembering Vidal the novelist, whose writing helped define the postwar American novel because his subject--whether he was writing about religious strife in ancient Rome or middle America as a gaudy soap opera--was always the United States itself.

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